The Denver City Charter currently requires that all elected officials in Denver, except for at-large councilmembers, receive a majority of the votes cast in an election. Therefore, a run-off election is often necessary to secure this majority. Prior to November 2021, the charter also required that the runoff election be conducted about one month after the municipal election.
At the same time, the charter requires the Office of the Clerk and Recorder to conduct elections according to state election law, which requires the office to automatically mail ballots to voters three weeks before Election Day. For military and overseas voters, state law requires ballots to be mailed 45 days before Election Day. As a result, Denver had conflicting timelines in its charter, as there was not enough time between municipal elections and their run-offs.
As a result of the work of Clerk López’s office and the Charter Review Committee, the city increased the time between the municipal and run-off elections, providing for a minimum of 30 additional days between the elections. This option solved the timeline conflict experienced by elections administrators. Moving municipal elections from May to April eliminates the time crunch and the need to implement a modified voting method like approval or ranked-choice voting. Elections will be administered as they are now, but on a different timeline.